The most flavorful pesto chicken grilled cheese recipe! Made with homemade basil pesto, melted cheese, and fresh tomatoes in between toasted bread. You’ll never want to order out for lunch again.
Pesto tastes delicious on just about anything. My homemade pesto recipe is cheesy and flavorful, despite being dairy-free.
One of my favorite on-the-go sandwiches is the Turkey Pesto Panini from Starbucks. It is super tasty and filling, but it’s much cheaper to make at home. And personally, I prefer it made with fresh veggies and juicy chicken.
Easy to wrap, take this sandwich to work, put it in your kids’ lunch box, or pack a few up for a family beach day.
If you like this recipe, you’ll also love my Slow Cooker Whole Chicken recipe.
What cheeses go well with pesto chicken grilled cheese?
Generally speaking, younger, fresher cheese is going to give you the best cheese pull.
My favorite cheese pairing is mozzarella. It has the best “pull apart” effect.
It is made using a technique called “pasta filata” or string dough. The strings of the cheese are kneaded together, which is why you see them “pull apart” when melted.
Tom loves trying different cheeses, so sometimes I throw in some American into his sandwich.
American cheese melts into a silky texture (think nacho cheese). That’s because the cheese is made with acids and phosphates, which prevent any clumping when melting.
Provolone is great if you want a tangier, more aggressive kick to your sandwich. Get a medium or sharp variety at your local deli – they tend to melt easier.
HOWEVER, you really can’t go wrong using your favorite type of cheese!
What kind of bread to use with your pesto chicken grilled cheese?
This is my favorite part – nothing tastes better than fresh, warm bread.
I prefer a thick crust sourdough, but you can truly use any bread you like!
Surprisingly, I tried using raisin bread the other day and its sweetness paired beautifully with the pesto chicken and melty mozzarella.
Therefore, your options are endless!
What kind of chicken to use with your pesto chicken grilled cheese?
I love a fresh, oven-roasted chicken. It’s juicy, flavorful, and super easy to meal prep for the week. Check out my recipe here.
This grilled cheese chicken recipe is also a great way to use up a leftover rotisserie chicken, additionally like my Healthy Chicken Salad recipe.
What can I add to my grilled cheese to make it better?
Take this recipe to the next level with some savory or sweet condiments.
Savory: mustard, lemon tahini sauce, mayo, buffalo sauce, sriracha, or even barbecue sauce.
It’s the easiest way to spruce up any sandwich.
Veggies are the perfect way to increase the nutritional content of your sandwich and add some extra flavor or crunch additionally.
For some fresh herbs, try adding some basil leaves, chopped rosemary, oregano, or parsley.
Or load it up with fresh onions, lettuce, or even pickles – it’s a great way to use up any extra veggies from the week.
You can also experiment with how you prepare your sandwich.
Make it on a panini, grill, or sandwich griddle for added crunch.
Ingredients for Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese
This sandwich is the perfect balance of healthy carbs, fats, and is packed with protein:
Chicken, shredded or roughly chopped
How to Make Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese
First, begin by combining your chicken and pesto sauce.
Then, spread butter over both sides of your slices of bread.
Thirdly, add half of your cheese to each slice of bread – I find that four squares cover the surface area of each.
Lastly, add roughly 1 cup of pesto chicken on one slice and a couple of thinly slice tomatoes on the other slice – combine slices altogether.
During you’re process of assembling your sandwich, heat a non-stick pan or panini grill/griddle pan on low to medium heat.
Once warm, fry the sandwich until both sides are golden brown and the cheeses are melted.
Furthermore, you will press the sandwich down during cooking to secure the chicken from falling out the sides.
If using a pan, I like to finish by taking the pan off the heat and adding a lid to until the cheese extra melty.
Feel free to also make this chicken pesto grilled cheese in a panini press, on a grill, or on a sandwich griddle!
How to serve Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese?
This pesto chicken grilled cheese tastes amazing on its own. Its packed with carbs from the bread, healthy fats from the cheese, protein from the chicken, and even micronutrients from the pesto and tomatoes.
Additionally, I like serving it with carrot sticks, kettle chips, or any other nibble-y on-the-go sides.
How to Store Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese
This recipe is best served fresh!
If you are going to eat it later or meal prep this recipe, I recommend making the chicken pesto base and storing it in an air-tight container in your fridge for 3-4 days.
Nonetheless, simply warm it up as normal with the bread and cheese when grilling your sandwich.
What other sandwich recipes would you like to see next? Leave a comment below!
Other Chicken-inspired Recipes you might Like:
- 4 pieces of bread
- 2 cups of chicken (shredded or roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup pesto
- 8 slices of cheese
- Tomato slices
- Butter for greasing
- Combine chicken and pesto
- Spread butter over both sides of the slices of bread
- Spread the half cheese on each piece of bread.
- Add roughly 1 cup of pesto chicken on one slice
- Add a couple of thin sliced of tomatoes on the other side
- Combine slices and push down to secure grilled chicken tightly inside
- Heat a non-stick pan or panini grill/griddle pan. Turn the heat to medium to low and fry the sandwich until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
1. Close the lid if using a pan to melt the cheese more quickly.
2. Watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn (the heat on each stove/electric griddle may be different).
3. You can make this pesto chicken panini on a grill or sandwich griddle as well.